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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Adaptive headlights finally legal in US with Biden's infrastructure bill signed into law (msn.com)
November 16, 2021
Sean Szymkowski

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior


Here come the adaptive headlights. With Monday's signing ceremony for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, President Biden's pen stroke did more than unlock billions of dollars for infrastructure in the US. The law opens the door for the latest headlight technologies to finally hit the road here.

Adaptive headlights go by many different names, depending on which brand's touting their own tech, but Audi's Digital Matrix LED headlights are one of the better-known examples. What these headlights can do is automatically shut off certain clusters of LEDs while you're driving. Today, headlights in the US really just go from bright, to really bright when flicking on the high beams. Sure, automatic high beams are a thing, but adaptive headlights take things 10 steps further.

Say you're driving on a dark road off the highway and a car approaches from the opposite direction. The headlights see this, shut down the cluster of lights that would end up blinding the other driver in oncoming traffic and keep your lane completely lit with as much light as possible. The technology can do this for multiple cars, too, if different lanes.

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Black GM still uses halogen bulbs in some models, never mind why they have not used these expensive adaptive units!

Just a good way to have to spend 5+ grand on the package for them imo. I just want bright headlamps that allow me to see the road and signs at night. Quality projectors and led lamps are all you need, if designed right will never blind oncoming cars because the cut off from the projectors wont allow it. This is just something that will add tons of cost to the purchase price and add tons of cost if god forbid it ever had an issue outside of your warranty.

People get blinded because of the people who try and retrofit led/hid bulbs into non projector housings imo. I usually never have an issue with newer cars or trucks blinding my vision at night, always the guy that put some ebay specials in his non projector lamp housings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Black GM still uses halogen bulbs in some models, never mind why they have not used these expensive adaptive units!

Just a good way to have to spend 5+ grand on the package for them imo. I just want bright headlamps that allow me to see the road and signs at night. Quality projectors and led lamps are all you need, if designed right will never blind oncoming cars because the cut off from the projectors wont allow it. This is just something that will add tons of cost to the purchase price and add tons of cost if god forbid it ever had an issue outside of your warranty.

People get blinded because of the people who try and retrofit led/hid bulbs into non projector housings imo. I usually never have an issue with newer cars or trucks blinding my vision at night, always the guy that put some ebay specials in his non projector lamp housings.
Once they are legal, I expect Cadillac to offer them as options. Many go ga-ga over lighting (I kind of like it), I remember when we had a thread on BMW's laser headlights, GMI was going nuts, as if you could blow up other cars with the headlights :D If people want to pay, GM should offer. Detroit in general was late in getting into higher end headlights vs. the Germans, hopefully they are on this adaptive lighting as soon as possible. The only downside is all the Euro vehicles already have them, they just need to ship them. I don't know which Cadillac's, if any, are set up for them and we might need to wait for the next gen.
 

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I hope these are better than LEDs or LSDs which are quite skilled at blinding oncoming drivers. I thought LEDs were cool at first, until I was the victim of a few. Now I'm happy to see a road full of standard beam headlights, I know my eyeballs won't get singed within 20 seconds.
 
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I already have Adaptive Forward Lighting in my ATS! I know, not the same "adaptive"!:D
 

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I think this is a good technology. My 2018 Silverado w/ Midnight Edition package has high intensity headlights which are noticeably brighter than the ones on other pickup trims and my Yukon XL. Problem is other people often think I have the brights on when I don't and signal me. Would be nice to at least have an additional setting for oncoming traffic and being behind someone in traffic.
 

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I don't get it.
Audi already sells the matrix LED headlamps in the US. Is there a difference between EU and US spec matrix headlamps currently??

What's the difference here?
 

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My 300 and my current Ram has really nice headlights that turn with the wheel and their auto highbeams work very well.
My '14 Sierra was one of the worst headlight examples I've owned since the 80's. GM eventually pulled a little high voltage trick fix to make them at least acceptable, but it was just another nail in the coffin for GM and me.
 

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I don't get it.
Audi already sells the matrix LED headlamps in the US. Is there a difference between EU and US spec matrix headlamps currently??

What's the difference here?
I don't believe they have the full functionality here though. They just have a high and low beam setup here, vs. the whole "smart" array over there.
 

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I don't believe they have the full functionality here though. They just have a high and low beam setup here, vs. the whole "smart" array over there.
I believe you’re correct. The “matrix” function of their adaptive lights allows them to power down the beam on the oncoming object while following it vs. going into full low beam mode and returning to high beam.
 

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Audi already sells the matrix LED headlamps in the US. Is there a difference between EU and US spec matrix headlamps currently??

What's the difference here?
The difference is that U.S. market Audis with matrix LED headlamps have software that disables the Adaptive Driving Beam functionality, defined as:

The Adaptive Main (Driving) Beam system is based upon a sensor that identifies the positions of other vehicles and an image processor and electronic control unit (ECU) sending signals to the headlamp that automatically adapts the light distribution of the main beam to provide optimised (sic) glare controlled illumination of the road scene ahead. The sensor, ECU and lighting electronics are similar to that used for the Adaptive Dipped Beam Cut-off Line system but the light technique and the headlamp construction differ to provide more flexibility in the way that the light distribution can be adapted both vertically and horizontally.
In North America, ADB has been legal in Canada since 2018 and in Mexico long before that.
 

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I don't believe they have the full functionality here though. They just have a high and low beam setup here, vs. the whole "smart" array over there.
Yeah. I had to do some research on it.
It looks like it’s still the matrix headlight system that’s available in the EU, just crippled in the US.
So, presumably, once the new law goes into effect, Audi can just update the system to incorporate full functionality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah. I had to do some research on it.
It looks like it’s still the matrix headlight system that’s available in the EU, just crippled in the US.
So, presumably, once the new law goes into effect, Audi can just update the system to incorporate full functionality.
I presume these lights are expensive and everyone who bought them in the USA basically gets nothing out of them except that they look cool and high tech? Wow.

I wonder if they'll be able to have the dealer to restore full functionality once they are legal.
 

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I presume these lights are expensive and everyone who bought them in the USA basically gets nothing out of them except that they look cool and high tech? Wow.

I wonder if they'll be able to have the dealer to restore full functionality once they are legal.
Don't know about Audi, but for BMW some U.S. owners have successfully coded their car's software to activate the European/ECE spec adaptive driving beam functionality. Here's an example at Bimmerfest:


In case anyone's wondering, dealers will NOT do this kind of coding for customers. You're on your own, with help from forums like this one and Bimmerfest of course. ;)
 

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I presume these lights are expensive and everyone who bought them in the USA basically gets nothing out of them except that they look cool and high tech? Wow.

I wonder if they'll be able to have the dealer to restore full functionality once they are legal.
VW Group cars can usually have global market options configured by VCDS (a close clone of the dealer diagnostic software) provided the hardware is physically in place.
 

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VW Group cars can usually have global market options configured by VCDS (a close clone of the dealer diagnostic software) provided the hardware is physically in place.
Thanks Ruperts Trooper, that sounds similar to ISTA for BMW automobiles.
 
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